Cruise to the Bat Cave

Our trip to the Bat Cave

We just left the dock. This is looking back up Honeycomb Creek

We are well along the way toward the bat cave

I have the mainsail laced up and she's pointing well.

We arrived at the bat cave and dropped anchor.

This is the Gray Bat Sanctuary. Bats eat mosquitos that would otherwise bother people and possibly transmit West Nile virus. I advocate protecting them and feel this is a good way to promote knowledge and interest in bats.

A video of the bats flying out of the cave is here. Look closely and you will see the bats flying out around the boats. They tend to fly low to the water after exiting the cave. The sailboat is Keith approaching in his Hunter 32.

Keith tied up to the 20 foot elver. I used a danforth anchor that is at least one size bigger than necessary for this boat and I put out at least 100 feet of rode. This held both mine and the Hunter 32 without any slippage. I later pulled up the anchor without any problem.

The moon came up around 8:30 or so.

The real adventure began after keith left and I pulled up anchor. Everyone else had gone by this time. We set sail away from the clift and up river. The winds were light to nonexistent. I used the trolling motor to try to get up river and into Honeycomb creek as quickly as possible. Whenever the wind came up I switched off the trolling motor. Finally the battery ran out. I then started using paddles. After we got inside Honeycomb creek the boat went quicker. Then the wind started coming up consistently. The boat started moving. We tacked a few times in Honeycomb creek. Then we reached for the dock. We could see the lights of Sunrise marina and campground but not the dock or the TVA parking lot. We sailed until we were about 50 feet from the shore. At this point I recognized where we were. We followed the bank down until we saw the dock. By this time it was about 1:30am. I pulled the boat out and put everything away.

Over all I had a good time. But I found out some more things. First, the trailer centers work wonderfully as long as the boat ramp is level as it slopes down into the water. If it is higher on one side than the other or I back the trailer in at an angle, one side of the trailer will be higher than the other. The boat will tend to slip toward the lower side and come out with the keel off the rollers. I had to back the boat in again and line it up right for it to come out on center.